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Apologizing to an N

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Re: Apologizing to an N

Postby imjustagirl » Sat Jan 07, 2012 4:19 am

The moment "YOU" (LOL) cause a narcissistic injury by reacting to some totally ludicrous thing they've said or done, you will start the devalue process and it will only get worse and worse until they discard you all together.
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Re: Apologizing to an N

Postby littlewing » Sat Jan 07, 2012 10:17 pm

imjustagirl wrote:The moment "YOU" (LOL) cause a narcissistic injury by reacting to some totally ludicrous thing they've said or done, you will start the devalue process and it will only get worse and worse until they discard you all together.


This reminds me of when my ex got mad at me for being mad that he paid for his ex-girlfriend's plane ticket to come visit him. This is after we had been fighting about their inappropriate relationship. But... as my therapist pointed out, I set the stage for this by putting up with their inappropriate relationship (talking almost every day) for six months. He had a harem of women around him at all times to provide NS.

He did so many ludicrous, unbelievable things and every time I reacted, he skillfully turned the tables so I would end up apologizing or begging him not to leave me. It was pure insanity. Now he's married to someone who's a lot like him. I'm so curious how that works. They may be divorced by now, I have no way of knowing. She's been married three times, so she doesn't have the best track record.

Anyway, the point is, this pattern keeps repeating itself and it needs to stop. My therapist thinks I can prevent this pattern, by calmly asserting my needs early on in the relationship. A narcissist will not stick around for this, so it's an easy way to weed them out. Trouble is, I need to learn how to do this because I'm a classic co-dependent who was conditioned at a very young age to deny my needs and feelings to accommodate a BPD/NPD mother and a deeply wounded father who relied on me for a little sliver of happiness in his miserable existence. So... I have a long way to go but I'm willing to do the work.

With crisis comes opportunity. These people enter our lives to reveal these patterns and cause just enough pain so we're compelled to change (co-dependency, victim-mentality, whatever our issue is).
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Re: Apologizing to an N

Postby BlueFlower » Sun Jan 08, 2012 12:19 am

littlewing wrote: These people enter our lives to reveal these patterns and cause just enough pain so we're compelled to change (co-dependency, victim-mentality, whatever our issue is).


Yes! This. I also believe, if you don't learn the lesson, you will likely have to repeat it (with another N.) :wink:

Even though he is a complete douchebag, I know that my exN is my soul-mate. Not in the romantic sense, but because he opened me up to myself in many ways...and through him, I learned that my mother is a toxic N. For that I am greatful. I've ended the generations-long cycle of abuse, and become more aware of the power of empathy.

I thank God I'm no longer in any relationship with an N, tho!
(no offense intended.)
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Re: Apologizing to an N

Postby littlewing » Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:54 am

I learned more about my mom through my ex as well. Supposedly we are drawn to partners that remind us of the parent we have the most unresolved issues with. Most people assume it's just girls with their daddy's and boys with their mommy's, but not necessarily. It's kind of creepy to think I'm dating people like my mom, but that's the reality.
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Re: Apologizing to an N

Postby BlueFlower » Sun Jan 08, 2012 2:24 am

Interesting...I think it's more like, we are attracted to those folk that possess the same "energy" we felt growing up. People with whom we either repeat or heal our issues.

My dad could have been an N too; not sure since I don't have many memories of him.

But yeah, I guess I dated my mother (with a d*ck.) But way worse. Meaner.
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Re: Apologizing to an N

Postby deepwater2011 » Mon Jan 09, 2012 3:35 am

Dating people that are like others we have unresolved issues with is just a theory. It may apply to some people, may not. So hard to measure, I don't think there would be studies you could find that support it.

My own, personal theory, with zero to back it up, is this: we are more likely to be attracted to either people we immediately feel comfortable with based on familiarity with what they put out there in the beginning, and/or people who appear NOT to be like people who have hurt us (initial appearances, all we ever go on when we go to date #2, then 3, etc....and then familiarity with THAT person may keep us going further).

And my biggest personal theory...we get out of one relationship with the stuff we didn't like (or something that was lacking) so fresh in our minds that the first person who is somewhat attractive in general (on whatever levels, not just physically) that comes along showing promise of what was lacking in the last round, or not having what we didn't like in the last person...well, that's the person we are all excited about discovering. And that kind of blinds us to giving the whole package a more thorough look because we are too busy being relieved to find something that different than what we just left that we didn't like.

Feeling succinct tonight. All on that from me for now.

Except, this didn't relate to apologizing to N's. So my two bit on that subjects, after an intense day discussing divorce vs. staying together and why we would do that and how we could make it better is this: I, personally again, will apologize for something I should apologize for, regardless of whether he is an N or not, or what his reaction may be, because it is the right thing to do. If he throws it in my face, uses it against me, pretends he doesn't believe it, uses it to feel more powerful or devalue me, so be it. He keeps doing that and I am gone, and he knows it now. He is getting better with apologies, and with many other things, and I can tolerate a slip up occurring during otherwise steady progress, but I am well past playing games and well into wanting something totally different than the last few years.

And he knows that. ANd is responding generally well, slowly but surely. Still hard though, every day almost.
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Re: Apologizing to an N

Postby littlewing » Wed Jan 11, 2012 12:27 am

deepwater2011 wrote:And my biggest personal theory...we get out of one relationship with the stuff we didn't like (or something that was lacking) so fresh in our minds that the first person who is somewhat attractive in general (on whatever levels, not just physically) that comes along showing promise of what was lacking in the last round, or not having what we didn't like in the last person...well, that's the person we are all excited about discovering. And that kind of blinds us to giving the whole package a more thorough look because we are too busy being relieved to find something that different than what we just left that we didn't like.



Totally. I'm going through this right now and wondering if I'm seeing the guy clearly or if I'm just so grateful that he doesn't seem to fit my pattern. When I talk to him it's a two way conversation and he seems really humble and considerate and mentally healthy. There's something incredibly familiar and comfortable about him, but based on my experience, this can be dangerous. Looking back, my most disastrous relationships were with people I moved too quickly with - emotionally and physically. So... one way to safeguard against disaster is to move slowly.
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Re: Apologizing to an N

Postby deepwater2011 » Fri Jan 13, 2012 5:17 am

FYI, we moved VERY quickly...were engaged within a few weeks.

Since last time on the forum a few days ago, I happened upon some letters from the "honeymoon" phase. The N traits were there early on, and the havoc it caused for me even back hit me hard when I read them a couple of days ago. I got over each "episode" then pretty quickly, still aglow from the pure excitement of how wonderful the good times were, and how incredible we made each other feel.

But I read that stuff and went OMG! And, well, looks like I reacted with co-dependant behavior after all. And hmmm, any new relationship will have to be much different for us, if we survive "now".

So, I suggest that you read old emails, texts, etc. to see what jumps out as early signs. If nothing else, it may make you feel better when you try to see "clearly". It may make you wiser early on in another relationship. It may help you let go. It may help in some way at least.

Good night for now...
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Re: Apologizing to an N

Postby bettywhite » Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:43 pm

littlewing wrote:If I criticize or shame an N and instigate an N meltdown/communication break-down, how does my apology affect him/her? Is this a show of weakness that give him him/her more reason to be disgusted by me, or is the gesture appreciated? What is the best way to bounce back from a fight with an N when you have crossed that boundary and trampled on their self-esteem?


Apologize for what you did and own up to it. Being the bigger person doesn't really work with an N but it will help you keep your sanity and hopefully not act like that again. I find that I get more upset and "rageful" with someone when I "let it go" and the little things start piling up. Maybe that's what happened in your case and you finally had enough.....I'm sure we've all been there at some point. I would apologize.....do not offer any excuses for your behavior...and definitely do not expect an apology back. They will walk away like they are right and just let them feel that way. At least you are not that way.
Then.....be done with it. No more contact...not in a hurtful way to get back at them but as a protective barrier to yourself and your mental state.

Good luck!
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Re: Apologizing to an N

Postby littlewing » Sat Jan 14, 2012 6:53 pm

I have such a hard time cutting people off so they usually end up cutting me off after I've revealed my needy, desperate side. My therapist said that too much groveling just reminds the N of the parts of themselves that allowed them to be victimized in the past. Past victimization and humiliation is usually a huge factor in forming an N and they usually bury the weak parts of themselves that they believe led to this victimization. When I'm vulnerable and needy and overly apologetic, they punish me as if they were punishing the victim inside of themselves. I'm usually apologizing for my overreaction to their original offense, so there's some guilt wrapped up in their response to my groveling. They may know they did something wrong, but I gave them the ammunition to be mad at me for my disproportionate, irrational response. If I learn to set boundaries early on in my relationships, I can prevent this process altogether.
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